Guest-Starring Sharktopus! A Syfy 'Waterworld' Remake Could Be Genius
I'm starting to think the execs over at Syfy may be a bunch of secret geniuses. When I first read Forbes' report that the NBC Universal-owned cable network is considering giving the lifeguard's kiss to Waterworld as either a film for its new theatrical division or, more likely, a TV series for its prime-time schedule, I almost choked on my coffee.
Just hearing the title of the $235-million 1995 stink bomb — until Titanic, reportedly the most expensive movie made — makes me simultaneously think of mildew and bacon. The first, because of the movie's stagnant, waterlogged plot; the second, because Dennis Hopper's performance is so damn hammy. The late actor, who played Deacon, the leader of the pirates known as Smokers, actually says at one point in the movie: "Dry land is not just our destination, it is our destiny!"
And the more I think about it, a Waterworld reboot is Syfy's destiny. As the Forbes post notes, the movie does well every time it runs on the network, but with a little Syfy-style goosing, a TV series could become destination programming for B-movie nerds everywhere.
Waterworld is set in a post-apocalyptic world where the polar icecaps have melted and land is sparse. First of all, in a post-Katrina-Irene-Sandy world, the concept doesn't seem all that farfetched anymore. Better yet, that extremely moist setting makes an ideal universe for Syfy to populate with all of the mutated monsters that have starred in its cheese-tastic original TV movies.
The movie's protagonist, the Mariner — who was played by Kevin Costner — is, after all, a mutant, too. He sports gills and webbed feet. So, as long as we're suspending disbelief for him, why not have him face down such inspired Syfy abominations as Sharktopus, Mega-Python, Mega-Piranha, Piranhaconda — and, from above, Mansquito! — on a weekly basis. I see parts for Barry Williams, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson and Kevin Sorbo. And if Universal hasn't settled its suit with mockbuster production house The Asylum, which produced some of the most successful and preposterous creature films to air on Syfy, maybe they can make nice and make waves. (Ba-dum-bump!)
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